Day 171

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 23:13-14
Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.

Discipline does not kill – it corrects.
The lack of it – according to this text- sends one’s soul to Sheol or Hell as we understand it. This happens because a lack of harsh correction causes one to go on the wrong path.

God disciplines us for this same purpose. Not to harm us but to help us.

The next time you feel His rod descending upon your life – thank Him for loving you enough to do so.

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Day 170

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 22:13
The sluggard says, There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!

This is a hilarious proverb.
In order not to go out of the house to labor- the lazy person would make all sorts of excuses.

We might laugh at this – but here is a question we can each ask ourselves “What excuses am I making, so as to avoid improving myself this day?”

Has our personal growth stagnated?
What are we not doing that would help better ourselves?

I know that when a person improves themself – their family benefits, their workplace benefits, they too will benefit!

Joy happens and faith arises when people realize their potential as they constantly test the limits of what they can achieve with God’s blessing!

Day 169

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 21:9
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

This verse seems hilarious but it is relief to live in less than ideal housing- if you are a man who has to endure quarrel after quarrel!

What makes a home?
It is surely more than 4 walls and a roof.
It is the relationships between the people who inhabit the dwelling. It must keep people coming home and NOT keep them from coming home!

I think singles, married couples and parents/kids can all contemplate this verse today.
“Do I make living on a rooftop a more appetizing option for my spouse/kids/parents?”

If so- what can I change this day?
You can’t change another person anyway … so why not let change begin with you?

After all TD Jakes once said “If you always do what you have always done, you will always be where you have always been!”

Day 168

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 11:1
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight.

Merchants used to rig their balancing scales so they could cheat their customers and make more money.

God hates such dishonesty. But a fair merchant who gives the customer what they ask and deserve, is a delight to God.

Dishonesty in business proclaims “I do not trust God to make me wealthy. Rather I trust my own dishonest means of lying, cheating, and not fully representing the deal as it is.”

Honest businessmen on the contrary proclaim “I trust in God to further my business and wealth- and I will honor Him even when my peers are not doing right in their practices. As for me, I will trust Him and do what He deems is right.”

So today- when you go out to the business world – consider this “Are my scales rigged? Did my boss ask me to cheat my client by hiding certain info from them or misrepresenting other info?”

Do right by God …

Day 167

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 10:1
The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Which father does not wish for his child to make wise decisions in life?
I know I do.

But our children are beings of free will and are free to make their own choices, however much we may nag or scold them.

One thing we can do as parents, is to maximize our influence on our children – wielding our influence in the greatest possible way so that when they grow into adulthood, we can say we have done our best to influence them in the right way, God’s way.

Wielding influence requires time and personal touch.
We cannot do this via remote control or long distance. Too often I have been guilty of responding rapidly to emergencies at work via my phone or the work email that comes through it and not being focused enough on my children’s needs at the present moment.

In our technologically advanced day – this is a constant distraction.
One question I try to ask myself this day is – “Is my phone wielding more influence on me than I am on my kids?”

Or for some of us a variation we can ask ourselves is “Is the TV or tablet wielding more influence on our kids than us as parents?”

Good question to think about for this week.

Day 166

by Rev Joel Yong

Proverbs 4:2-5
After all, I have taught you well. Do not abandon my teachings. When I was a boy learning from my father, when I was a tender and only child of my mother, they used to teach me and say to me, “Cling to my words wholeheartedly. Obey my commands so that you may live. Acquire wisdom. Acquire understanding. Do not forget. Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken.

Solomon wrote these words and he referenced his relationship with his father.
I wonder what his father taught him.

His father was after all -David.
Hunted by Saul.
Mocked by Micah.
Forgotten by Jesse when Samuel came to their household to anoint a future king.

He was also giant slayer and commander of mighty men.

I am sure David had much to say.
From his life experiences and even from his failures.

He also knew what it was to sin against God – he plotted Uriah’s death and stole his wife and took a census when he shouldn’t have.

When 1 generation teaches another- there is much to pay attention to and to absorb. For there lies Wisdom.

Wisdom is the ability to learn before experiencing the consequence of folly – and one can do so from the experience of another who has triumphed and failed previously.

Day 165

by Rev Joel Yong

Psalm 137:7
O LORD, remember the people of Edom. Remember what they did the day Jerusalem was captured. They said, “Tear it down! Tear it down to its foundation.”

When Jerusalem was sacked by Nebuchadnezzar – the Edomites encouraged the attack and cheered even on the sidelines!

Scripture teaches us that Israel and Edom came from the same bloodline – from Jacob and Esau respectively!

Yet when their relatives were getting attacked – the Edomites cheered!

No wonder God punished Edom for what they did. Though they did not participate physically in the attack on Jerusalem- their words and thoughts were evil and toxic!

Ezekiel 25:12-14
Thus says the Lord God: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance on them, therefore thus says the Lord God, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord God.

Subsequently Edom was attacked by the Arabian tribes from the east, and destroyed.
Cheering when those we dislike, are suffering- is considered a sin by God!

So this day- whomever you may dislike- if suffering befalls them, do not cheer, dear friends, lest we reap similar punishment!